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Angel of the Prairies; 

n mww ©F w% FUTURE, 


One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of jfesus Christ of 
Latter-da v Saints. 


Salt Lake City, Utah: 
deseret news printing and publishing establishment. 



PREFACE. / P73A<* 

The thrilling and interesting narrative contained in 
this little book, though setting up no claim to being 
an authentic or infallible prophecy, yet probably con- 
tains as much condensed truth and as little fiction as 
any work in any age, that has inspired truth for its 
foundation, and romance simply for its embellishment 
and adornings. 

This manuscript was read in [Nauvoo, in a Council of 
the Church, in the presence of the Prophet Joseph 
Smith, but never appeared in print until last Spring, 
in the Northern Light, when it became at once the 
admiration of all the Saints who had the privilege of 
its perusal. 

"While purporting to be written under the similitude 
of a dream or vision, we will state that no such dream 
or vision was had by the writer, the whole manuscript 
having been written at Nauvoo, in the Winter of 

The useful and elevating object of the author shines 
in every page of the work, and not a hurtful feature 
can be found in it. As will be seen, the book contains 
twenty pages of reading matter, — twice the amount we 
supposed it to contain — we shall therefore be under 
the necessity of charging twenty-five cents a copy, instead 
of fifteen cents. 



Salt Lake Oity, January, 1880. 




BEING a native of a small and retired village of New 
England, and trained to the strictest habits of in- 
dustry, I had grown to manhood without seeing much of 
the world, having never traveled to exceed twenty miles 
from home. As is not unfrequently the case with New 
Englanders, my ideas were extremely limited and nar- 
row in regard to the extent and resources of the West. 
I had heard of prairies, to be sure, or open untimbered 
fields, but could form no other idea of them than to 
compare them to some of our marshes, which were by 
nature destitute of timber because they were too low 
and wet to produce it. 

I know not how or why it was the case, but for some 
reason I had been, from my earliest remembrance, im- 
pressed with a longiug desire and a fixed determination 
to visit and to explore the mighty, the mysterious 
West To this inclination my friends were always op- 
posed. They would often reason as follows: "Have 
you not a quiet home in the midst of friends, peace and 
plenty? Have you not a sufficiency of wealth and of 
all things which are calculated to make you contented 
and happy? Why then will you go to the West? 
Why will you tear yourself from all these blessings and 
from society, and wander through uncultivated forests 
and amid dangers, toils and sufferings, amid the hiss of 
serpents, the howl of wild beasts, and the whoops and 

yells of men more savage than they ? To these expostu- 
lations I could never give a satisfactory answer, but 
still I wanted to go. \ 

At the age of twenty-one, being free, and in posses- 
sion of ready money sufficient to place rae beyond the 
reach of immediate want, I resolved to break through 
every restraint and to gratify my thirst for travel. I 
took leave of my friends with many tears and bles- 
sings on their part, and with feelings deep and indes- 
cribable on my own. I soon had the gratification of 
beholding Niagara Falls,. the great lakes and dense for- 
ests of the West, as well as the splendid towns, the 
domestic villas and the delightful fields, interspersed 
here and there, amid the wild and romantic scenes of 
nature. But these indulgences only served to increase 
my desire for still further research. I soon penetrated 
farther into the interior, where for the first time a grand 
prairie scenery opened before rae. This exceeded all 
the western wonders I had before seen. After travel- 
ling for some hours over a gently undulating landscape, 
smooth and beautiful as a village park, and covered 
with grass and flowers, extendiug on all side3 as far as 
the eye could reach, I ascended a gradually rising emi- 
nence, and halted to look around me. All seemed like 
a splendid vision passing all reality, and putting imagi- 
nation at defiance to imitate. A green field of grass 
and flowers extended on all sides as far as the eye could 
reach; without a horse or tree, a inau or animal, to 
intercept the sight or break upon the lonely and 
sublime repose which reigned around me. The landscape 
was sufficiently diversified in hills and valleys and 
other gentle elevations, neither presenting the dull mo- 
notony of a level plain, nor ihe rough and abrupt 
appearance of hills too steep for easy cultivation. In- 
deed, an Euglish nobleman would have found a pleas- 
ant passage for a coach and six in any direction from 
where I stood. The soil was vastly rich and the surface 
was smooth and even, the whole landscape resembling 

a boundless field of green wheat interspersed with lilies 
and sunflowers. "With one glance of the eye, I beheld 
an extent of country sufficient for the home of happy 
millions. " Here," thought I, " within the reach of my 
natural vision, might exist an empire more extensive, 
numerous and wealthy, than someof the most renowned 
kingdoms of the old world ! And yet not one hu- 
man being possesses the knowledge, courage and ambi- 
tion to claim it as his own possession. Nay, they would 
rather seek a precarious subsistence in the streets of 
some overgrown and populous town, or kill and conquer 
the inhabitants of some miserable country already 

While indulging in this strange reverie — one thought 
gave rise to another — my narrow heart enlarged and I 
began to extend myj inquiries as to the real boundaries 
of these mighty and extended fields and their future 
destiny. I naturally concluded that so fine a country 
and such vast riches would not always be overlooked by 
the enterprising and industrious. That immigration 
would come rolling on in its westward tendency, and with 
it the march of empire, till these lonely plains would be 
all peopled and these rich resources made to yield sup- 
port to happy millions. 

With these thoughts still deeply working in my 
mind, I pursued my journey, and at the close of 
day arrived at an humble cottage where, with an 
appetite sharpened by fatigue, I partook of such simple 
refreshments as the place afforded, and retired to rest, 
my mind still filled with thoughts more sublimely great, 
grand and solemn than had ever before occupied my 
bosom. A deep and unquiet slumber soon came over 
me, and my mind was carried away in a most extraor- 
dinary vision. A messenger of a mild and intelligent 
countenance, suddenly stood before me, arrayed in 
robes of dazzling splendor. "Fear not," said he, " thou 
son of mortal ! For I am the Angel of the Prairies. 
I hold the keys of the mysteries of this wonderful 


country, and to me is committed the fate of empires and 
the destiny of nations. Come then, with me, and I will 
show thee the secret purposes of fate in relation to this,' 
the most extraordinary of all countries !" 

Overjoyed with the information, and gathering con- 
fidence from the kind and generous appearance of 
the messenger, I arose and accompanied him. We 
were wafted through the air at a rapid rate, for 
some hundreds of miles, in a western direction, a 
little bearing to the south. At length we came 
to a halt in an elevated green and flowery plain on 
the southern bank of the Missouri river — not far 
from the line that divides the Indian Territory from 
the States — a place of surpassing beauty and loveliness. 

" Young man," said the Angel of the Prairies, " take 
this glass and look around thee." He then handed me 
a curious glass by which I was enabled to view the en- 
tire country from sea to sea. Looking to the north, I 
beheld the extensive and fertile plains of Iowa and 
Wisconsin, composed chiefly of rich, rolling prairies, 
interspersed with beautiful groves of timber, and watered 
with numerous streams, some of which were naviga- 
ble for hundreds of miles ; and others forming numer- 
ous and valuable water powers for the propelling of 
mills and machinery. These fertile and flowery plains 
and groves extended for many hundreds of miles to the 
north, and were finally terminated by large and exten- 
sive forests of pine, which could easily be rafted down 
the currents of the numerous streams, and be used in 
the erection of buildings, towns and cities, throughout 
the whole extent of the unlimited prairies. The central 
portion of these vast territories abounded in rich ores, 
such as lead, iron and coal; and the northern portions 
abounded in copper. The vegetable, mineral and com- 
mercial resources of these territories seemed capable of 
sustaining and employing one hundred millions of peo- 
ple, while at present they contained hardly as many 


Turning from these, I looked eastward, where the 
states of Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois presented a 
vast territory of some five hundred miles in extent, sim- 
ilar in fertility and resources to the territories above 
described, consisting of rich, beautiful and fertile 
prairies, mingled with delightful groves of timber, and 
penetrated with numerous large and expansive rivers, 
on the bosom of which might float the commerce of na- 
tions and empires. These states were calculated to sus- 
tain at least another hundred millions of souls, although 
at present not occupied by one million. 

After viewing with wonder and delight these beauti- 
ful states, I cast my eyes toward the south and south- 
west. The vision now lengthened in the distance, and 
some thousands of miles of country expanded to my 
view, including the vast plains, and fertile forests and 
vales of Texas and Mexico ; still presenting a vast 
quantity of unlimited meadows and prairies, rich and 
beautiful as Eden, and abounding in vegetable and 
mineral wealth. These countries were abundantly suffi- 
cient to sustain two hundred millions more of inhabit- 
ants, although at present possessing a population of less 
than ten millions. 

Having contemplated the green fields, the flowery 
plains, the dense forests and towering mountains of this 
vast country till lost and overwhelmed in astonishment, 
I turned to the west. Here I beheld a tract of country 
lately surveyed and appropriated for the location of the 
Indian tribes. It was bounded on the east by the states 
of Misssouri and Arkansas, on the south by Texas, on 
the west by the Great American Desert and on the 
north by the almost unexplored and inhospitable re- 
gions of Canada, or more properly by the Missouri 
river, embracing some six hundred miles from north to 
south, and some two hundred from east to west. This, 
like the countries before described, abounded in alter- 
nate rich, rolling prairies and woodlands, capable for 
sustaining a population of at least fifty millions ; al- 


though at present peopled with a few Indian tribes con- 
sisting of less than half a million. 

"Young man," said the Angel of the Prairies, "you 
have now beheld the great meadows of the West, an al- 
most unbroken and continuous field of prairie, bounded 
on the east by the Wabash and Lake Michigan, on the 
north by the prairies of Wisconsin and Iowa, on the 
west by the Great Desert, and on the south by Central 
America, and averaging some three thousand miles long 
and some seven hundred broad ; being mostly a rich 
and fertile plain, watered like Eden, and more produc- 
tive than the plains of Euphrates. Its people are at 
present few, but its resources are immense, and it is 
abundantly calculated to sustain at least one half of the 
present population of the globe. You now stand in a 
central position, in the midst of the great American 
continent. Here is the spot which is destined for the 
seat of empire, and here shall the ambassadors of all 
nations resort with a tribute of homage to a greater 
than Cyrus. 

" The seat of empire," continued he, " began in the 
eastern Eden, but its progress has always been west- 
ward. It lighted on the plains of Euphrates, where, 
under Nimrod, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander and 
others, it rested for a time. But, migrating still west- 
ward, it took its seat in Palestine, and finally on the 
banks of the Kile, from whence it passed to Rome in 
Italy, where it swayed a long and bloody sceptre, and in 
course of time penetrated to the western islands of 
Europe, where it sojourned for a time as if to prepare 
for a voyage. Holding still its sea-girt throne, it sent 
out a forlorn hope, a kind of advance guard to prepare 
its way in the wilderness. These passed over the great 
waters and finally strengthened themselves until they 
founded a seat of government on the extreme eastern 
shore of this vast continent This was in the infancy 
of the American Republic, quite central and conveni- 
ent. On this account some narrow minded mortals, 


taking only a momentary view of the subject, supposed 
that the seat of empire, after progressing for thousands 
of years, had now found a resting place where it would 
tarry forever. Poor mistaken mortals, how little did 
they know of the country they were in, and how much 
less of the decrees of infinite wisdom ! " 

These words being ended, the Angel of the Prairies 
bade me tarry awhile on this second spot, and he would 
then return and unfold to me the mysteries of the fu- 
ture, and the hitherto secret and impenetrable decrees 
of fate. With this charge he vanished from my sight. 
A mist of darkness suddenly overspread the landscape 
— a veil of oblivion enshrouded me round, and the 
whole scene was shut from my view. Indistinct shad- 
ows and confused forms occupied my imagination and 
troubled my slumbers, and finally a long time seemed 
to pass away without any distinct recollection of events. 
Suddenly a hand touched me, and a voice exclaimed, 
" Mortal, awake ! The Angel of the Prairie, has re- 
turned, and the time i3 fulfilled. Arise ! Stand up- 
right, and look around thee." At the voice of his 
words I seemed to awake as from a deep sleep, the dark- 
ness dispersed, and light ineffable shone around me. I 
found myself in the same central position where he had 
left me, and which he had pointed out as the final seat 
of empire. But oh ! how changed ! 

Instead of a flowery plain without inhabitants, I be- 
held an immense city, extending on all sides and 
thronged with myriads of people, apparently of all na- 
tions. In the midst of this city stood a magnificent 
temple, which, in magnitude and splendor, exceeded 
everything of the kind before known upon the earth. 
It? foundations were of precious stones ; its walls like 
polished gold ; its windows of agates, clear as crystal; and 
its roof of a dazzling brightness , its top, like the lofty 
Andes, seemed to mingle with the skies; while a bright 
cloud overshadowed it, from which extended rays of 
glory and brightness in all the magnificent colors of the 


rainbow. The whole buildings thereof seemed to cover 
some eight or ten acres of ground, " This" said the 
Angel of the Praines, " is the sanctuary of freedom, 
the palace of the great King, and the centre of a univer- 
sal government. Follow me and you shall behold the 
magnificence, order and glory of His kingdom." So 
saying, we walked together to the gates of the temple. 
These were twelve in number ; three on each side, and 
all standing open. Numerous parties and servants were 
in waiting, and guides and instructors were busy in at- 
tendance on strangers, who were passing to and from the 
temple, with an air of confident freedom, and clad in 
mingled and varied costumes of all nations. 

By a secret watchword from the Angel to the porter 
or keeper of the gate, we were permitted to pass the 
eastern centre gate into the court yard. This^ was a 
large square surrounding the temple, and containing a 
square mile of land, enclosed with a strong wail of ma- 
sonry, and ornamented with walks, grass plots, flowers 
and shady groves of ornamental trees, the whole arranged 
in the most perfect taste, aud with an elegance, neat- 
ness and beauty, that might well compare with Eden. 
Here the eye was dazzled with scenes of beauty, the ear 
saluted with innumerable strains of music from birds of 
varied notes and plumage. And here the balmy breath 
of morn seemed perfumed with sweets more delicious 
than the spicy groves of Arabia. Here, in short, the 
entire senses seemed overwhelmed with enjoyment and 
pleasure indescribable. Passing along a spacious walk, 
in the midst of scenes like these, he came to the eastern 
door of the temple, over which was inscribed, in letters 
of gold, the following : 

" Here wisdom, knowledge and truth are blended ! 
Here mercy reigns and war is ended ! 
Here on these grounds all nations enter ; 
But hero a tyrant dare not venture ! " 


On entering the outer court, we found ourselves in a 
large and splendid room, inside of which were doors 
opening in every direction, over which were inscribed 
the particular uses for which they were occupied. This 
outer court was ornamented and finished with monu- 
ments, paintings, maps, charts, engravings, etc., all of 
which were not only ornamental but highly instructive, 
and calculated to impart a world of information on as- 
tronomy, geography, history, geometry, theology, etc., 
etc. Among these, my attention was drawn to a 
large painting which represented huge piles of broken 
iron, and antique weapons of every description, heaped 
up together in the greatest confusion, from the ancient 
bow of steel, or the wooden bow and arrow and war club 
of the savage, to the most polished and renowned im- 
plements of modern warfare. All these were laid aside 
as useless, and men were represented in the act of beat- 
ing swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning 

" These," said the Angel of the Prairies, " are the im- 
plements of murder and cruelty with which poor, igno- 
rant, mistaken mortals once made war upon each other ; 
but they have long since been laid aside as useless, and 
the arts of war are no longer studied or practiced on 
the earth." After viewing these things, my guide con- 
ducted me to a door, which opened into the inner 
courts, and over which was written as follows: 

" Within is freedom's throne exalted high ! 
Where, crowned with light and truth and majesty, 
A royal host in robes of bright array, 
Their peaceful sceptre o ? er the nations sway. " 

On entering this room, a vast and extensive hall was 
opened before me, the walls of which were white and 
ornamented with various figures which I did not under- 
stand. In the midst of this hall was a vast throne as 
white as ivory, and ascended by seventy steps, and on 


either side of the throne and of the steps leading to it, 
there were seats rising one above another. On this 
throne was seated an aged, venerable looking man. His 
hair was white with age, and his countenance beamed 
with intelligence and affection indescribable, as if he 
were the father of the kingdoms and people over which 
he reigned. He was clad in robes of dazzling white- 
ness, while a glorious crown rested upon his brow; and 
a pillar of light above his head, seemed to diffuse over 
the whole scene a brilliance of glory and grandeur in- 
describable. There was something in his countenance 
which seemed to indicate that he had passed long years 
of struggle and exertion in the achievment of some 
mighty revolution, and been a man of sorrows and ac- 
quainted with grief. But, like the evening sun after a 
day of clouds and tempest, he seemed to Bmile with a 
dignity of repose. In connection with this venerable 
personage sat two others scarcely less venerable, and clad 
and crowned in the same manner. On the next seat 
below were twelve personages, much of the same ap- 
pearance and clad in the same manner, with crowns 
upon their heads ; while the descending seats were filled 
with some thousands of noble and dignified personages, 
all enrobed in white and crowned with authority, power 
and majesty, as kings and priests presiding among the 
sons of God. 

" You now behold," said the Angel of the Prairies, 
"The Grand Presiding Council organized in wisdom, and 
holding the keys of power to bear rule over all the earth 
in righteousness. And of the increase and glory of their 
kingdoms their shall be no end." As he spoke thus, 
bands of instrumental music filled the temple with mel- 
ody indescribable, accompanied with human voices, both 
male and female, all chiming in perfect harmony in a 
hymn of triumph, the words of which I could only un- 
derstand in part. But the concluding lines were repeat- 
ed iu swelling strains of joy. They were as follows : 


11 Tho' earth and its treasures should melt in the fire, 
And the starlight of heaven wax dim and expire; 
Tho' yon planets no longer revolve in their spheres, 
The earth make its day, or its circuit of years; 
Tho' the fountain of joy all its light shall withhold, 
And the moons and Sabbaths shall cease to behold; 
Yet firm and unshaken this throne shall remain, 
And the heirs of Old Israel eternally reign." 

As the music ceased, the Angel said : 

" Son of mortal ! ascend with me, and I will show you 
the country which we explored together at the first." 
At this instant a door was opened, which we entered, 
and commenced to ascend a flight of steps. These 
gradually ascended upwards through a long and wind- 
ing passage, till at length we found ourselves on a pin- 
nacle of the temple. The air was pure and mild, the 
sky was clear, and the vision extended far and wide on 
all sides, without an intervening object. My guide now 
handed me the same curious glass in which I had for- 
merly viewed the country. But now how different, how 
wonderful the change of all things around me ! Instead 
of lone prairies and wild and dreary forests, I now be- 
held one vast extent of populous country. Cities, towns, 
villages, houses, palaces, gardens, farms, fields, orchards, 
and vineyards extended in endless variety where once I 
beheld little else but loneliness and desolation. 

" This," said the Angel of the Prairies, "is the country 
in which, one hundred years ago, you commenced to 
explore, in your journey to the west. Behold," con- 
tinued he, "what truth and knowledge and perseverance 
can accomplish in a single century." To this I replied: 
u I am lost in wonder and amazement, and can hardly 
understand what I see. Who are these populous na- 
tions and tribes, who in happy myriads occupy the 
country immediately to the west, which was formerly 
occupied by savage hordes, but which now presents one 


vast scene of neatness, beauty, civilization and happiness? 
Have the Indian tribes, then, been entirely extermi- 
nated, and their country overrun by civilized nations?" 

" Nay," said he, " these are still the Indians. A 
mysterious Providence preserved their remnants, and 
gathered and concentrated them into one peaceful na- 
tion. When they were first brought together from all 
parts of the continent, they numbered a population of 
about seven millions of ignorant, degraded people. But 
the light of truth dawned upon them, and with it came 
all the blessings of peace, plenty, civilization, cleanli- 
ness, and beauty, which you behold, and they constitute 
some thirty-five millions, and occupy all the country 
west of the Mississippi and bordering on the Rocky 

After viewing these beautiful settlements and hearing 
this interesting account of tribes and nations which I 
had been tradition ed to believe could never be tamed, 
but were destined to perish from the earth, I turned 
toward the east and inquired after the great family of 
States which had once constituted the united Republic 
of E Pluribus Unum, These, I believed, were vastly more 
populous and wealthy than formerly. But they seemed 
no longer identified as States, with their former geo- 
graphical boundaries and political forms of government. 
At this I was greatly astonished, as I had been early 
impressed with the idea of the future greatness and per- 
manency of our national institutions. Turning to the 
guide, I inquired by what strange connection of events, 
or by what mighty revolutions the American system 
had been dissolved, and its elements blended with this 
great central and universal government, which, notwith- 
standing my former prepossessions, I was constrained to 
acknowledge as far superior in excellence, glory and 
perfection to the former. To this inquiry the Angel of 
the Prairies replied as follows : 

" The American system was indeed glorious in its be- 
ginning, and was founded by wise and good men, in op- 


position to long established abuses and oppressive 
systems of the Old World. But it had its weakenesses 
and imperfections. These were taken advantage of by 
wicked and conspiring men, who were unwisely placed 
at the head of government, and who, by a loose and cor- 
rupt administration, gradually undermined that beauti- 
ful structure. In their polluted hands justice faltered, 
truth fell to the ground, equity could not enter, and vir- 
tue fled into the wilderness. A blind, sectarianized and 
corrupt populace formed themselves into numerous 
mob3, overturned the laws, and put at defiance the ad- 
ministration thereof. These were either joined by the 
officers of Government or secretly winked at and encour- 
aged by them, until the injured and persecuted friends 
of law and order, finding no protection or redress, were 
forced to abandon their country and its institutions, 
now no longer in force, and to retreat into the wilder- 
ness, with the loss of a vast amount of property and 
many valuable lives. These carried with them the 
spirit of liberty which seemed as a cement to form them 
into union, and thus was formed a nucleus around 
which rallied by degrees all the virtue and patriotism of 
the nation. Thus rallied and re-organized, the bold and 
daring sons of liberty were able to stand in their own 
defense, and to hurl defiance upon their former enemies. 
Thus the spirit of freedom had withdrawn from the mass 
and they were abandoned, like king Saul of old, to de- 
struction. Divisions and contentions arose, and multi- 
plied to that degree that they soon destroyed each other, 
deluged the country in blood, and thus ended the con- 
federation under the title of E Plurlbus Unum. 

" The remnant who lied into the wilderness and ral- 
lied to the standard of liberty on the plains of the 
West, combining the wisdom of former experience with 
the light of truth which shone into their hearts from 
above, laid the foundation of their perfect form of gov- 
ernment — this mighty empire of liberty which you now 
see, and the institutions of which you shall be more fully 


informed in due time. The wisdom, intelligence and 
peace which flowed from this centre soon served as an 
ensign to the nations abroad. This filled some with 
envy, others with admiration and delight. The good, 
the great, the noble, the generous and patriotic lovers of 
truth rallied from all nations, and joining the standard 
of freedom, were a constantly increasing strength to 
their new and perfect organization. While by the same 
means the old and corrupt institutions were proportion- 
ately weakened and abandoned. This soon stirred the 
envy and jealousy of old and corrupt powers to that de- 
gree that they united in a general declaration of war 
against their young and more prosperous neighbors. 
These allied powers sent out an armament of five hund- 
red ships of the line, and half a million of men. Their 
object was not only to gratify their vengeance and envy, 
but their avarice and ambition. They aimed at nothing 
less than the subjugation and plunder of the whole 
country. These powers were a portion of them landed, 
with implements and effects, and the remainder reserved 
on board their ships. They were met by the sons of 
liberty, both by sea and land, who were at length victo- 
rious, and this whole army were overcome, and their 
riches and armor, which was immense, were taken for 
spoil. This brilliant victory greatly enriched and 
strengthened the new empire of freedom, and at the 
same time nearly ruined the nations who commenced 
the war. They sued for peace, and finally obtained it 
on condition of perfect submission to the will of the con- 
querors. This gave them new and liberal laws and in- 
stitutions, broke off" the fetters of their old masters, and 
utterly forbade the use of arms or the art of war. 
These brilliant and highly commendable measures soon 
opened the eyes of millions more, and won them to the 
cause of liberty and truth. Other and distant nations, 
who had watched all these movements at length, saw 
the beauties of liberty and felt the force of truth, till 
finally, with one consent, they joined the same standard. 


Thus, in one short century, the world is revolutionized; 
tyranny is dethroned; war has ceased forever; peace is 
triumphant, aud truth and knowledge cover the earth." 

Thus spake the Angel of the Prairies; and when he 
had ceased to speak, I still continued to listen; for such 
a blaze of glory and intelligence burst at oLce upon my 
view, and events so passing strange, so complicated, 
so unlooked for, had taken place in a single century, 
and had been related to me in so masterly a manner, 
that I stood overwhelmed with astonishment and won- 
der, and could hardly believe my senses. "Is it possible," 
thought I, "that a republic founded upon the most lib- 
eral principles, and established by the sweat and blood 
and tears of our renowned ancestors, and so cherished 
and respected by their children, has faded like the daz- 
zling splendor of the morning's dawn? has withered 
like an untimely flower? and that, too, by the corrup- 
tion of its own degenerate sons, the very persons who 
should have cherished it forever? Where was the 
spirit of patriotism, of freedom, of love of country 
which had once characterized the sons of liberty* 
and warmed the bosoms of Americans?" 

With reflections like these I had commenced a lamen- 
tation over my fallen, lost and ruined country. But 
suddenly recollecting myself, and calling to mind the other 
events which had been related, my sorrow was turned 
into joy. I saw, although there had been great corrup- 
tion and a general overthrow of our government and 
its institutions, yet many of the sons of noble sires had 
stood firm and unshaken in the cause of freedom ; even 
amid the wreck of states and the crash of thrones, they 
had maintained their integrity, and when they had no 
longer a country or government to fight for, they re- 
tired to the plains of the West, carrying with them the 
pure spirit of freedom. There, in the midst of a more 
extensive, a richer and a better country, they had estab- 
lished a government more permanent, strong and last- 
ing, and vastly more extensive and glorious, combining 


strength and solidity, with the most perfect liberty and 
freedom. Nor had their labors been confined to the 
narrow limits of their own immediate country and na- 
tion, but had burst the chains of tyranny and broken 
the yoke of bondage from the growing millions of all 
nations and colors ; and where darkness, ignorance, su- 
perstition, cruelty and bloodshed had held dominion for 
ages, light had sprung up, truth had triumphed, and 
peace had commenced its universal reign* And where, 
a century ago, an extensive and fertile country lay 
desolate and lone, or partially occupied by ignorant and 
cruel savages, hundreds of millions of intelligent and 
happy beings were now enjoying all the sweets of do- 
mestic felicity. Why then, thought I, shall I mourn? 
The labors of our fathers were not in vain. On the con- 
trary, the results have been a thousand times more glo- 
rious than their most sanguine expectations. The spirit 
of their institutions has been cherished and maintained, 
Their temple of liberty enlarged and perfected ;• while 
the dross has been separated and destroyed, and the 
chaff blown to the four winds. 

While these thoughts were passing in my mind, the 
Angel of the Prairies again called my attention. 
" Come/' said he, " son of mortal, let us descend from 
this high eminence and enter the archives of the Tem- 
ple of Freedom, and there you shall learn the secret 
springs, the fountain from which has emanated all this 
wisdom and greatness. You will then no lougor won- 
der at the magnitude of this glorious organization, the 
perfection of its principles, or its unparalleled success." 
So, saying, we descended together through the same long 
and winding passage, till a door opened into a vast 
room in the second story of the building, which was 
gloriously finished and ornameuted, and principally oc- 
cupied with collections of antiquities and monuments 
and paintings, memorializing numerous and important 
events. Passing through in the midst of these, we en- 
tered a small room in which was carefully deposited 


numerous sacred books and records. From the midst 
of these the Angel of the Prairies selected a small vol- 
ume entitled: U A true and perfect system of Civil 
and Religious Government, revealed from on High." 

He then bade me be seated, gave me this book, and 
bade me read. So saying, he vanished from my sight. 
I opened the book and read the preface as, follows : 

"There is a God in heaven who revealeth secrets. 
Wisdom and might are His. He changeth the times 
and the seasons. He removeth king;* and setteth up 
kings. He giveth wisdom unto the wise and knowledge 
unto them that know understanding. His dominion is 
an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from gen- 
eration to generation. He doth according to His will 
in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of 
the earth. And none can stay His hand, or say unto 
Him,' c What doeth thou ? ' All His works are truth, and 
His ways are judgment, and those that walk in pride 
He is able to abase. His kingdom is that which shall 
not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto 
the end. As the Maker of the earth and the Father of 
the people, all power and authority of civil and religi- 
ous government is vested in Him. He holds the pre- 
rogative of electing the officers and making the laws ; He 
holds the right of reproving and admonishing the offi- 
cers or of removing them at pleasure. Therefore all the 
forms of civil and religious government which are not 
appointed, organized and directed by divine revelation, 
are more or less imperfect and erroneous, and the ad- 
ministration thereof extremely liable to corruption and 
abuse. The only perfect system of government, then, is 
a Theocracy; that is, a government under the imme- 
diate, constant and direct superiutendeney of the Al- 
mighty. This order of government commenced in 
Eden, when God chose Adam for a ruler and gave him 
laws. It was perpetuated in his descendants, such as 
Seth, Enoch, Noah, Melchisedec, and so on, till it came 
down to Abraham, and wa^ made hereditary in his seed 



forever. As it is written, ' Kings shall be of thee, and 
princes shall come out of thy loins.' 

" It was manifested clearly in Egypt — Pharaoh him- 
self being instructed and governed by Joseph, as a 
revelator. Moses also delivered a nation from slavery, 
dethroned a tyrant, and governed in all things by these 
same principles. By these Joshua conquered, and by 
these the Judges of Israel ruled. By this authority 
Samuel reproved and displaced a corrupted priesthood, 
in the case of Eli and his sons. By it he annoints King 
Saul to reign in Israel, and by it he afterwards rejected 
him for transgression and anointed David in his stead. 
By virtue of this authority Elijah reproved and reject- 
ed Ahab and the priests of Baal, and then proceeded to 
anoint Jehu king and Elisha for prophet, and by this 
means remodeled the civil and religious administration 
of affairs, and saved a nation from the lowest depths of 
corruption and ruin. By this power, Daniel, the pro- 
phet, reproved and instructed Nebuchaduezzar, dis- 
placed Belteshazzar, and directed Cyrus; continually 
impressing upon kings and nations this one important 
principle, viz : * That God i3 a revealer of secrets, and 
claims the right of government over kings and poten- 
tates of the earth." To convince Nebuchadnezzar of 
this one fact, he was driven out from his throne and 
from the society of men, to dwell among the beasts of 
the field and to eat grass as the ox, and afterwards 
restored to his kingdom again. And to convince all na- 
tions of this fact, King Nebuchadnezzar wrote his 
epistle to all nations and languages, in which he bore 
testimony to the same. 

"By this authority Jesus Christ received all power in 
heaven and on earth, and was therefore seen by the 
prophet Daniel, coming in the clouds of heaven, to 
reign over all the earth. By this authority His Apos- 
tles governed those who would receive His kingdom in 
their day — being themselves chosen by the Lord, and 
not by the people. By this same authority the Gentile 


Church and people would have been governed from that 
day to the present, without a schism or division of 
church or state, were it not tor corruption and wicked- 
ness, which made war with the Saints, and overcame 
them, and changed times and laws, as was foretold by 
the prophet Daniel. 

** By this authority the God of heaven promised, by all 
the holy prophets, that He w r ould set up a kingdom 
that should destroy and break in pieces all these king- 
doms, become universal, and stand forever. And that 
He would do this by the sitting of the Ancient of Days, 
whose raiment was white a3 snow, and whose hair was 
like the pure wool ; while thousands of thousands min- 
istered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand 
stood before him, and judgment was given to the Saints, 
and the time came that the Saints possessed the king- 

" By this authority the God of heaven has fulfilled 
that which He spoke by the mouths of His ancient pro- 
phets, by revealing from heaven and appointing and 
establishing a glorious kingdom which shall stand for- 

" Therefore sing, O Heavens ! 

And be joyful, O Earth ! 

For truth has triumphed ; 

Wisdom and knowledge rule ; 

Righteousness reigns ; 

And earth rests in lasting peace." 

Thus ended the preface. I was about to read fur- 
ther, but was interrupted by the Angel of the Prairies. 
"Son of mortal," said he, "you have now read all you 
are permitted to read at the present time." So saying, 
he replaced the little book amid the archives of the 
temple, and bade me follow him. He then conducted 
me out of the temple, and said : 

" Son of mortal, you now understand the nature of 


the government you have beheld. You see it is not a 
human monarchy, for man-made kings are tyrant. It 
is not an aristocracy, for iu that case the few trample 
upon the rights of the many. It is not a democracy, for 
mobs composed of the mass, with no stronger power to 
check them, are the greatest tyrants and oppressors in 
the world. But it is a theocracy, where the great Elo- 
heim, Jehovah, holds the superior honor. He selects the 
officers. He reveals aud appoints the laws, and He 
counsels, reproves, directs, guides and holds the reins of 
government. The venerable Council which you be- 
held enthroned in majesty and clad in robes of white, 
with crowns upon their heads, is the order of the Ancient 
of Days, before whose august presence thrones have been 
cast down, and tyrants have ceased to rule. You have 
understood the secret purposes of Providence in rela- 
tion to the prairies and the West, and of the earth and 
its destiny. Go forth on your journey, aud wander no 
more ; but tell the world of things to come." 

At this I awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Instead 
of a glorious kingdom and city aud temple, I beheld 
the morning sun shining through the crevices of the log 
cabin where I lodged. Instead of a century numbered 
with the past, I had spent a night of disturbed and un- 
quiet slumber; and instead of the Angel of the Prairies 
standing by my side in the act of unfolding 

"The secret purposes of fate, 

Which govern men and guide the State," 

I beheld my landlord in the act of calling me to 






AU6 B W='' 
OCT 2 2 1992